Bodum pour over coffee maker vs chemex review

Arguably, the Chemex and Bodum pour over coffee maker are two of most popular brand for this particular brewing method. It is interesting to see what are their differences and whether one is better than the other. What I did was to run a taste test between the two. The result I found was rather surprising and I am sure you will find it interesting as well.



Brewing methods

My initial though was that both pour over coffee makers were designed to conduct the same brewing method, which is simply to pour hot water over the coffee grains that are contained in a filter. Upon further investigation, it is interesting to note that both companies actually adapt slightly different brewing methods.

For Chemex, it designed its pour over coffee maker to caught the fine sediments to let only the water seep through. Bodum, on the other hand, allows some of the fines as well as natural coffee oil to go through. As such, they will produce slightly different taste due to the presence of these sediments. Whether it is better or worse will depend on your own preference. Below is an image that shows you how much sediment is caught by the Chemex filter.

Bodum vs Chemex filter

Needless to say, with so much sediment out of the coffee, the taste is much better from Chemex, compared to Bodum. I was able to taste the different parts of the coffee. The bodum tasted flat in comparison.

To test whether the Bodum coffee will be better if the sediments is caught, I tried another version with the paper filter. Not surprising, the taste improved as you get less ‘distractions’ from the fines.


Pricing difference

Chemex is clearly the more expensive option with its price near the double of Bodum. In the long run, this doesn’t really matter that much since you will be using it quite often and $20 difference is not going to break the bank.



It seems that the coffee made from Chemex can produce a stronger coffee smell.  The Bodum coffee was incredibly flat when it comes to the smell. This was surprising to me so I did another test. This time, I smelled the Bodum first and the result was unfortunately, the same. I cannot explain why this is so but my nose can’t lie 🙂


Material quality

Interestingly, the Bodum seems to have a nicer glass quality despite its lower price point. This is of course 100% non objective since I don’t have a method to tell which glass is superior.


Filter change

The big attraction of the Bodum coffee maker is its permanent filter, which makes it very convenient to brew coffee as well as to clean afterwards. In contrast, Chemex uses paper filter that needs to be replaced after every brew. This also means you need to constantly buy new paper filters so there is a ongoing cost and effort. However, given the better coffee quality, I think it is worth it to change the paper filters.



At the end of the day, if you are particular about your pour over coffee, get the Chemex pour over coffee maker as it filters out more sediment and leaves a fuller taste and aroma. However, if you are not a coffee nut and wants to get a coffee maker that is cheap and easy to maintain, buy the Bodum.